Sunday, November 12, 2006

Approaching Expired Listing Leads

In the new market, expired listings are the resource of the day for immediate opportunities. In point of fact, if you have the skills to convince homeowners whose listings have expired to list with you, you can generate a great amount of business.

Bernice Ross at Inman posted a great article this week on how to approach expireds and how to turn these cold and defensive prospects into more receptive clients. Her advice is to expect these people to be quite angry with REALTORS in general and to expect to answer questions such as: “Where were you when I listed the house the first time?” “Why should I work with you instead of the thirty other agents that have called me today?”

Instead of apologizing for the lack of success with the previous listing, the article advises to use these questions to differentiate yourself from the competition. I recommend focusing on the marketing tools that you have available to you that your competition does not. This specifically applies to any online tools that you have to help promote the home for your clients.

Bernice’s advice is to explain that most homes don’t sell because of pricing and exposure, and that you are prepared to work with the client to optimize both. I will reference her scripts below, but my recommended approach is to explain that most buyer’s find homes online now and that you can maximize the home’s exposure on the net with tools such as virtual tours, podmail, Podcasts, Blogs, Showing Agent Feedback, and various other tools to help increase the number of ways that prospects can view the home online.

With those points in mind, here are a few of the scripts that Bernice recommended to use when prospecting expired listings:

“One of the reasons that listings expire is because they did not receive adequate exposure on the Web. If you were to place your property on the market again, would having it marketed on more than 20 different Web sites be a service you would want?”

“Mr. and Mrs. Seller, there is currently 10 months of inventory on the market. This means that if no new listings come on the market, it will take 10 months for the existing inventory to sell. In other words, in any given month, the probability that your listing will sell is 10 percent. The probability that your property will still be listed next month is 90 percent. Consequently, you have an important decision to make. Will you price your property in the top 10 percent of listings that will sell next month or will you price it in the 90 percent that will still be listed next month?”

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